The preseason is almost over, but the Los Angeles Lakers still have a problem regarding their starting point guard. Lonzo Ball sprained his ankle in the team’s second preseason game and has yet to play since.
It was originally believed that Ball’s ankle injury wasn’t serious, but it hasn’t healed as quickly as the team has hoped. Now with the regular season around the corner, head coach Luke Walton has something to worry about.
After practice on Wednesday, Walton spoke on Ball’s injury saying he is hopeful the rookie plays in the Lakers’ preseason finale on Friday, but will plan on him not being available via Bill Oram of the OC Register:
Luke Walton said he is “hoping” Lonzo Ball can play Friday. “Do I plan on him playing? No.”
— Bill Oram (@billoram) October 11, 2017
Walton would obviously prefer to get Ball back on the court as soon as possible, but he won’t rush the rookie especially in the preseason. Having Ball ready for next week’s regular season opener is most important, but this injury has caused Ball to miss out on a lot of important reps.
For a rookie, getting in-game experience goes a long way in their development and this puts Lonzo behind now. He still needs to develop chemistry with his teammates and that process will now go on into the regular season.
In Ball’s absence, Tyler Ennis has been starting and that will likely remain the case should he remain out. Alex Caruso has impressed many with his performance so far, but Walton noted that has not resulted in Caruso jumping Ennis on the depth chart.
Hopefully things will soon change and the rookie will be able to return to the court as his performance will play a large part in the success of the Lakers this season.